Everyone likes a nice surprise. Last week at E3, Sony revealed a handful of upcoming PS Vita games, including AR title PulzAR. Then, so sooner had the game been announced than it magically appeared in the PSN Store.
But don't go thinking that this is a rush job. PulzAR is the first enjoyable AR game for the Vita, putting a puzzler in the palm of your hand and on the top of your table.
This is an AR game that you'll actually find worthwhile, rather than come away from feeling like you've played a tech demo.Push and Pul
There's a huge asteroid heading for Earth, and only you can save mankind. Well, you and dozens of nuclear rockets.
You launch your rockets by aiming lasers into launch sequence catchers via reflective mirrors, splitters, and laser colour changers. Once all the sequence catchers have been satisfied, the rocket will take off.
All of this takes place via the AR cards that came with your PS Vita. You place one on the floor and point your Vita camera at it to make the level appear, and then add more cards to materialise the various bits and pieces. It's a joy to sit back and watch the rocket shoot off as a result of your carefully arranged sequence.
In fact, there are plenty of elements to PulzAR that made us smile. Each level also asks you to collect star tokens by aiming the lasers through them, adding a tougher challenge. And when you look up into the sky with your camera - well, we won't spoil it for you, but it's pretty ace.Nice to meteor you
On top of all this, you've got dozens of levels to complete, with new components added periodically, and online leaderboards for every single one. PulzAR really is a lovely way to spend an evening.
It's not without its upsets, however - mainly due to niggles in the AR technology.
Sometimes components will keep flickering in and out of existence, and when this happens they'll lose the positioning that you gave them, which can be pretty irritating.
It's a sign that AR technology still isn't at a point where we can enjoy it without reservations. But PulzAR is pretty damn close.